Sunday, September 28, 2008

Gas Shortage: Day 16

It's been 16 days since Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston, Texas. At first the fuel crisis in Atlanta seemed to be minor: a few stations were out and prices were up, but generally fuel could be found and there were no lines. But as the days progressed fuel supplies dwindled. More and more stores ran out and fewer were being resupplied. There are no official percentages that I can find indicating how many stations have gas, but I know that in my area the percentage did not improve during the week last week. If anything it grew worse. Very few stores have had gas: on my average day I would see one in 7 with gas. Last weekend I was able to get gas without waiting. Last Wednesday I waited behind two other cars (10 minutes only because the SUV in front of me had big tanks) but two days ago (Friday) I waited over 15 minutes in a long line. And Friday afternoon I saw gas lines much worse than the one I experienced that morning.

Demand was up significantly yesterday as nearly 250,000 people drove to or through Atlanta on their way to various college football games. I have not ventured out much this weekend, but I did pass by the 4 stations closest to my house and they were all empty. Personally, we are set until Thursday. All of our cars are full or nearly full and only one has to endure a long commute.

So why did this happen? And why is it so much worse than the few days of shortages after Hurricane Katrina? Here is an article from the AJC that provides some insight:

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Ruby on Rails

Over the past month or so I've been playing with Ruby on Rails. I've decided I really like the environment and developing in it has been (mostly) fun. It is very powerful and makes accessing database information wonderfully easy. Of course I first had to learn Ruby, which turned out to be a pleasure all on its own. The last object oriented language I did any serious work with was C++, which is a really cumbersome language that tends to make some object oriented programming techniques far more painful than they ought to be. So it's been great to be able to use a language that as designed from the beginning to be object oriented.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Brother, can you spare a gallon?

On the eve of the landing of Hurricane Ike I checked the tanks in all our cars to make sure we had plenty of gas. I added 10 gallons to the Jeep that night anticipating that we might have shortages as we did the week after Hurricane Katrina. Well the shortages didn't appear right away. Last week most stations had fuel although the prices were a bit higher.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Upgrading FreeBSD

I decided it was finally time to take care of our old FreeBSD server and get it running something supported. This box is the main server for our household. It processes mail, provides network services (imap, dhcp, dns), houses photos, music, video, and acts as a web server for the house, including a calendar and addressbook. So it's a rather important box for our family and when it is down it is missed. In fact, during this latest upgrade my wife asked me at least 6 different times either "can I get to my e-mail yet?" or "can I get to the addressbook yet?"